Why lack of video tools in Fedora?

Just throwing this out there for some comments… Some popular video software is not included in Fedora. I’m thinking of ffmpeg, mpv, vlc, handbrake. These and some others of course are not diffiult to install with 3rd party repos. If you want to transcode and/or control video remotely you will probably install one or more of the above. Are there still licensing issues that prevent these from being included in Fedora?

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Hi @boydkelly, and welcome to the community!

There are more or less two reasons for the missing packages.

  1. Non-free licenses. Fedora takes a very hard stance on open source, which excludes some software that is free, but not fully open source from being packaged in Fedora. See here for details of what can or can’t be in Fedora. This is the stuff you’d find in the RPM Fusion ‘nonfree’ repository.
  2. The software is or might be encumbered by third-party patents in the US. This is what you’d find in the RPM Fusion ‘free’ repository - software that has a compatible license, but is blocked by US patents.

The latter is what unfortunately kills most audio- and video-related stuff: Audio & video codecs are a nightmare of patents, normal & submarine, so anything that is capable of dealing with common media formats will automatically clash with some patent or other.

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Or some software is open source but it is not fully free :sweat_smile:

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I think that this is a way to protect the Fedora project from a legal action (correct me if I’m wrong). It is not a rare case that some company claiming the patent on something will take legal action against FLOSS developers. Nobody want to lose their time and money following the lawyers, we prefer to stay safe and focus pur efforts on useful things.

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Pretty much. IIRC the affiliation with RedHat - a US company bound by US patent law - makes the legal situation extra strict for Fedora.

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As others pointed out, it all boils down to patents and licensing concerns. And that’s why RPM Fusion exists, to provide with a reliable trustworthy repository for those programmes that can’t be officially in repositories but have people who want/need to use it.
Another thing to keep in mind is maintainers. There are as many programmes as people willing to maintain those packages.
Hope this helps

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You can check out Flathub too https://flathub.org/apps/category/AudioVideo

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